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    The Strangest Experiment Result of The Year
    By Barry Adams | March 11th 2012 09:19 AM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Barry

    Barry Adams is a PhD in Theoretical Physics, he left science for many years to work as a programmer, but remained a keen amateur, reading arXiv's...

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    If 2011's strangest result was seeing neutrinos moving in excess of the velocity of light, how could 2012 top that. But an even stranger experimental result has come from Berezhiani and Nesti from the University of Aquila in Italy , who claim to have found neutrons oscillate into Mirror Neutrons, and thus disappear from the ultra cold neutron traps. Mirror Matter is a theory of dark matter, in which every particle from the standard model is has Mirror Matter copy with left and right reversed, in order to return to parity conservation. Matter Matter has is own copy of each of the standard model strong and electroweak forces, and Mirror Matter interacts only with its own copies of the forces.

    Berzhiani and Nesti re-examined an experiment at Grenoble with trapped a half million neutrons in a trap of volume 190, within which the earth magnetic field was screen out, the result approximately 5.2 sigma signal for neutron oscillating into something else of the same mass, with a period of between 2 and 10s. The mirror oscillating result requires the Earth as a mirror magnetic field as well as its normal magnetic field which might happen if the Earth had trap a significant amount of mirror matter. The oscillation is strongest with the normal and mirror magnetic field are nearly the same, in this case around 0.2 Gauss, and a time period of around 3 seconds.

    Previous experiments have looked for mirror oscillations in orthopositronium (an electron orbiting with a positron with opposed spins), and found nothing. Mirror Matter theory itself does not require neutrons to oscillating into mirror neutrons with any particular speed, so this was not an expected result. If the experiment is confirmed, it would be the first strong evidence of the Mirror Matter scenario.

    Mirror Matter is a particularly interesting form of dark matter, because unlike WIMP dark matter, it might be useful technologically. It also forms stars which though invisible would help explain why dark matter does not seem to clump together as strongly as predicted in by standard WIMP dark matter.


    Comments

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    This article about mirror-matter and oscillating neutrons is very interesting Barry, are the results of this experiment that you are describing here in any way related to the planned experiment mentioned in Wikipedia's article about mirror-matter :-
    The mixing between photons and mirror photons could be present in tree level  Feynman diagrams or arise as a consequence of quantum corrections due to the presence of particles that carry both ordinary and mirror charges. In the latter case, the quantum corrections have to vanish at the one and two loop level Feynman diagrams, otherwise the predicted value of the kinetic mixing parameter would be larger than experimentally allowed. An experiment to measure this effect is currently being planned.
    If mirror matter does exist in large abundances in the universe and if it interacts with ordinary matter via photon-mirror photon mixing, then this could be detected in dark matter direct detection experiments such as DAMA/NaI and its successor DAMA/LIBRA. In fact, it is one of the few dark matter candidates which can explain the positive DAMA/NaI dark matter signal whilst still being consistent with the null results of other dark matter experiments. Mirror matter may also be detected in electromagnetic field penetration experiments and there would also be consequences for planetary science. Mirror matter could also be responsible for the GZK puzzle. Topological defects in the mirror sector could produce mirror neutrinos which can oscillate to ordinary neutrinos. Another possible way to evade the GZK bound is via neutron-mirror neutron oscillations. 
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    BDOA
    Thanks Helen, there's a lot there to answer.

    The GZK bound is for cosmic rays which should start to disappear after 60 Exa electron volts or, 6*10^19, above that energy any nucleons would lose there energy to interactions with the
    microwave background radiation. But cosmic ray do seem to impact earth with higher energies than this, Neutrons Oscillating to Mirror Neutrons, would help evade the GZK limit, but only if the mirror microwave background is a lot lower in strength than the normal light microwave background.

    Our precision with oscillation of neutrinos is getting quite good now, and oscillation to sterile states have not been observed, solar neutrino oscillation being consistent with the three known neutrinos, perphap's the mirror neutrinos are heavier than the normal type or some conserved charge prevent oscillation.

    DAMA and the other dark matter experiment seem well fitted by mirror matter at present, while the
    supersymmetry candidate are gradually being limited. The LEP collider should have found any supersymmetric particle below 40GeV, yet that mass range is where DAMA, CoGeNT and CREST seem
    to point.

    Experiment looking for mirror photon - photon oscillation, are in the shining light through walls category, and there are several on going and plan, and these experiments might also find axions.
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics
    I counted at least 20 grammatical mistakes in this article. It appears no one edits these articles. Lack of editing discredits this publication.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Being obsessed with grammar and not the content is very anal. I would prefer to see criticisms of the content not the grammar.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine